If you have a couple of days this summer, one way to beat the Sacramento scorch and grab a great bite is to make tracks for the Monterey Peninsula. Next time you do, try this trio in Carmel, the 1-square-mile seaside village that bulges with 60-plus restaurants. Think in terms of splitting dishes:
Porta Bella: For dinner, introduce yourselves to a wild mushroom Napoleon and a plate of lemon-scented capellini with bay scallops, mussels, prawns and lobster. Ocean Avenue and Monte Verde; (831) 624-4395, www.carmelsbest.com.
Village Corner: For breakfast, sit on the outdoor patio by the fire pit and share a Mediterranean omelet (tomato, mushroom, spinach, mozzarella) and side of crisp bacon, or calamari steak and eggs. Dolores and Sixth, (831) 624-3588, www.villagecornerbistro.com.
Nielsen Bros Market: For lunch, follow the aromas to the charcoal grill in front of the market, a local legend since 1930. Choose from fresh wurst (housemade franks, spicy Polish, hot and mild Italian), baby back ribs, beef and chicken kebabs, and skirt steak. Sit on the weathered-wood bus bench out front. San Carlos and Seventh Avenue, (831) 624-5939, www.nielsenmarket.com.